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Beth Walker

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When I get home, the burning sensation in my stomach has faded a little. I mean, really? Come on. My birthday, one of the worst days of the year, and even my boyfriend forgets. I know this day is cursed but, really? You target my boyfriend? Wow, just wow universe.

You might be wondering why my birthday is the worst day ever. Well, the reason is that a mistake was born today. Yeah, that’s right. I’m a mistake, I’m not supposed to exist right now! And that’s why when one mistake is born, all the others come out to play. That is why I am cursed.

Before my mother had known that she was pregnant, she broke up with my father for forgetting her birthday (yes that is the reason I forgave Cameron). They had this big old fight about how he can’t remember anything and about how Linda was making to big a deal out of this.

So for my whole life, they have been raising me separately. My mom living in her cool city apartment. And my dad and I living in his small suburban home paid for by grandpa and grandma. Don’t even get me started on those old creeps.

When I get home I don’t even announce myself. I walk in and go down the hallway to my room. I don’t have that much homework today. Just a few pages from my math book. I have no problem in math. I love math. Math is my first period of the day. Since I do my work really fast at home, I check my work. So in the morning when we check the answers to the homework, that’s my time to catch up on my sleep.

After I finish checking my homework I get a call from my dad. He probably didn’t notice me coming in again. “Dad, I’m already home. I’m in my room doing homework,” I say. “Oh, okay um, your mom’s hear come say hi to her and also dinner is ready,” he says. After he stops talking I hear my mom giving my dad crap about not knowing about his own daughter coming home. “Coming,” I say and I hang up not wanting to hear them rant on any more then I will at dinner.

As I pass the kitchen to get to the living room I see the remains of a fight they just had on their faces. But my mother stops when she sees me. She smiles and walks towards me. “Bethany! Oh it is so good to see you!” she says to me in a voice that I recognize. I’ve heard this voice many times. I hear this voice anytime I walk in on them having a fight.

“Hi mom, and Beth is just fine,” I say suddenly annoyed because of the years of teachers taking attendance and saying the name Bethany. My father told me that my mother came up with the name. He said he had wanted to name me Lilah, but he let her name me to make up for forgetting her birthday. But she still did not forgive him. She made my dad take care of me all by himself so she could go and follow her dream of being a scientist. So for the past seventeen years, I’ve been living like this. My mom living in her floor to wall windowed apartment building in Beverly Hills, L.A.. And us living in the apartments of Brentwood, Los Angeles.

I don’t like going to my mom’s house. I mean, it’s just so awkward and weird. Like when you go to work with one of your parents. You are just sitting there with nothing to do and you can’t talk because your mom/dad is working. You just feel out of place, like your not supposed to be there. I especially felt like that that time when she totally forgot that I was going to be dropped off at her place that day. Well, at least that’s what she said to her boyfriend. Turns out, she didn’t tell him that she had a seventeen year old girl. And based on how Taron asked me how old I was, she probably also probably forgot to tell him her age. I don’t think they’re together anymore.

“I made your favorite, Chinese! We’ve got egg rolls, we’ve got dumplings, you name it and we’ve got it!” My mother and I laughed at my dad. Even with her fake little laugh, there’s a little part of me that thinks that she actually is laughing on the inside.

When I sit down, I am surprised to see that my parents pull up the two seats next to each other. Are they…? No. No, no, no. No they are not. They were just fighting, why would they get back together if they were just fighting. They probably just couldn’t decide who would get to sit next to me. Yeah, that’s it. That’s probably what they were fighting about just now.

“So, how school been?” asks my mom like she says this every day to me. She says it like she doesn’t leave at twelve o’clock instead of sleeping over. She says it to me like it’s an everyday routine. And the fact that she says it that way makes the burning feeling come back in my stomach. I begin to snarl at her when my dad kicks me under the table and gives me that look.

“Um, good,” I say stiffly, another look. “I mean, really good. Like, it’s been better than Elementary and Middle school all together,” my mother gives a little plastic laugh.

“Good,” she says happily with a smile on her face.

Another flame flares up inside of me.

“And,” she picks up a large plate of egg rolls. “How’s that boyfriend of yours? Please tell me you guys are still together because he’s a keeper.”

“Um yeah, Cameron and I are still together.”

 

“Good, if I remember him correctly he is very smart. You don’t find a lot of those, do you,” she says laughing. Looking at my dad being uncomfortable at this subject, I laugh and say,” Yes, he is very smart, he even has straight A’s.”

“Well now your just torturing me,” laughs my dad. We all laugh together like a real family for a second… No! Stop it! It’s not going to happen! Stop hoping Beth!

“What did he get for your birthday Beth?”

Another flame shoots up and into my throat, and I smile. “Nothing.” The smile disappears from my mom’s face.

“What do you mean nothing? Did he forget? If he forgot then why did you say you guys were still together?” she says prying.

“Yes he forgot.”

“Well you don’t have to lie to us sweetie,” she takes my hand, and I smile an evil smile.

“We are still together,” my dad chokes on a laugh realizing what I had just done to my mom. “Did he corner you? Did he force you to be back together with him honey? Because if he did don’t do it, this a serious matter…!”

“Mom, I forgave him, by myself, without his help,” I say slightly giggling about how much this must make my mom furious.

“But why?! He forgot your birthday! Doesn’t that just make you furious?! Did you yell at him? I bet you yelled at him.”

“I didn’t yell at him.”

“Why not?! Weren’t you beyond outrage?! I mean, come on that is just unacceptable for your boyfriend to forget his girlfriend’s birthday…”

“JUST STOP! JUST STOP! WE GET IT, I FORGOT YOUR NINETEENTH BIRTHDAY! STOP PRYING AT HER! DO YOU WANT THEM TO BREAK UP OR SOMETHING?”

“This is not about you Gerald. This is about me trying to tell Beth what a big mistake she is making letting this slide,” she says like a school principal would talk to a student. Which makes my dad furious.

“Yes this is about you Linda! It’s all about you, and it always has been! You broke up with me because I didn’t think about you for once! And when I try to get you back to me, you repay me with letting me raise a baby all by myself!”

My moms starts to talk but she gets cut off when she goes under a sudden gust of water. I look around as I here a big bang. I look at the sink where the bang came from and there is no more sink. Just gushing water. I hear a rumbling sound come from the refrigerator, the door swings open and ice cubes shoot out and melt into the newly made hurricane in the house. “Beth!” I hear my dad say. But as soon as I reach for his hand, he gets sucked under. I scream his name as tears start streaming down my face. “Mom, Dad!” I scream again. No response. I sit there on top of the dining table curled up in a ball with my eyes closed. Praying for it to stop.

After about three hours of sitting there and crying, the sound of gushing water goes down to a drizzle. I look up and see the walls soaked. I get up and a bunch of wet glass and other broken trinkets litter the floor.

As I walk into the kitchen to see if the picture of my dad and I still hangs on the wall,  instead of a picture frame I see a red goop spread on the wall that I fear is blood. I whimper as I look down and see my dad lying on the floor a few feet away from my mom. Blood covered, I kneel down to my father and listen for a heart beat. I hear nothing.

I think I killed my parents.

 

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Beth Walker